Contesting a Will
Contentious probate and disputes
While a Will is intended to serve as the last wishes of a deceased individual, there are, unfortunately, many cases in which the reliability of a Will is questionable at best. It is for this reason that the law offers recourse by means of being able to challenge, or contest, a Will.
On what grounds can a Will be contested?
A Will can be contested in many ways. Since it is intended to stand as being what the deceased wanted done with their property and possessions, contesting a Will involves showing that following the instructions in the document would be inappropriate or unfair in some way.
One reason to contest a Will is because you feel that there was undue influence involved. This is when a person close to the deceased pushes them to write a Will which benefits them in some way while excluding other people who would have otherwise been a likely beneficiary.
Challenging a Will-maker’s testamentary capacity is another manner of contesting a Will. This occurs when someone writes a Will without being in an appropriate state of mind to do so, which may lead them to make bizarre or inappropriate decisions about who should benefit.
The Inheritance Act 1975 is a piece of legislation which often comes into play in these cases, as it allows a dependant of the deceased to make a claim based on the fact that they were reliant on that individual and therefore should receive a rightful share of the inheritance. This generally occurs where the deceased was in a relationship with the claimant, or where they are one of their children.
Additionally, there is perhaps the most clear-cut definition of a Will which should not be followed, and that is the example of a forged Will, created falsely by someone seeking to benefit from the death of the Will’s alleged writer.
Share your experiences
Please note: The views expressed in community areas of this site do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of Law on the Web, its owners, its staff or contributors.
Trusts are widely recognised as the most important contribution of English jurisprudence to the field of law, due to their extreme usefulness.Find out more
Wills and probate solicitors may be required in order to handle the complicated legal proceedings often associated with a bereavement.Find out more
Wills are drawn up to detail exactly what an individual wants to happen with their estate - their property, posessions and so on - once they die.Find out more